ST. LOUIS —
“They were just better than us,” Fernandez said. “I thought I made some good pitches but it’s not a secret for anybody, the Cardinals are one of the best teams in the league.”
The Cardinals swept the Marlins, with whom they share a spring training complex in Jupiter, Fla., for the first time since Aug. 4-7, 2011 at Florida, and the first time at home since May 23-25, 2000.
Trevor Rosenthal escaped a bases-loaded jam in the eighth by getting pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs on a groundout, getting some help when Stanton froze between second and third and could not score on Logan Morrison’s hit.
“If a couple of things go our way or we make a couple of better plays, we win this game,” Morrison said. “That’s why they’re going to be in the playoffs. That’s why we’re not, because they know how do those things.
“We’re young. We’re learning. We’ll get there,” Morrison said.
Edward Mujica pitched for the fourth straight game and finished for his 23rd save in 24 chances, giving him a win and two saves in the series.
Adeiny Hechavarria and Jeff Mathis had an RBI apiece for the Marlins, who had won eight of 10 entering the series and had been on a 19-11 roll for the majors’ best record since May 31. Derek Dietrich doubled, walked and was hit by a pitch twice.
Holliday’s 12th homer, and first in 12 games, was a 420-foot shot to straightaway center in the first.
Both teams manufactured a run early. A wide throw to the plate from first baseman Morrison helped Carlos Beltran score on the front end of a double steal with Holliday in the third for St. Louis, and Mathis had a squeeze bunt for an RBI in the fourth for the Marlins.